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UPDATE: Medical Board Suspends License of Doctor at Suspected Ironton Pill Mill

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 4/2/13 @ 7 p.m.
IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The State Medical Board of Ohio has suspended the osteopathic medical license of a doctor who practiced at a clinic in Ironton raided by federal, state and local authorities last month.

Agents from Ohio BCI, the state Pharmacy Board, the DEA, the Lawrence County Prosecutor, and local law enforcement executed the search warrant at Pinnacle Wellness and Longevity Center on March 12. The business is located in a suite at 407 South 3rd St.

At the time, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office said the practice was suspected of being a pill mill and had been under investigation for more than a year.

According to a news release, the State Medical Board of Ohio took the action against Adam P. Hall, DO, of Powell, Ohio, after determining that there is clear and convincing evidence that he has violated the Medical Practices Act and his continued practice presents a danger of immediate and serious harm to the public.

The Board said Dr. Hall worked only three to four days each month at the practice. The allegations include that Dr. Hall would routinely stamp and/or pre-sign blank prescription slips for office staff to subsequently complete at a later date in order to provide patients with drugs, including controlled substances, prior to Dr. Hall’s return the following month.

The board also said the office staff at the Ironton location included former physician Kevin Bowers, a convicted felon, whose osteopathic medical license was revoked by the Medical Board in 2010.

According to court documents, Bowers was accused of stealing drugs from a hospital in Franklin County, Ohio.

Additionally, the Medical Board learned that patient medical records include notes of examinations/evaluations on dates of service when Dr. Hall was out of the country in 2008 and 2012, and prescribing records show that prescriptions bearing Dr. Hall’s purported signature were issued for dangerous drugs and controlled substances during those time periods.

It is also alleged that Dr. Hall submitted false statements to the Medical Board.

Mary Counts works in Ironton near the clinic. She says she’s happy to see a doctor accused of feeding the growing drug problem shut down.

"It brings more drugs into the area and more people overdosing and dying. That's bad for the community,” Counts said. "If doctors are dispensing those and just giving them to different people, it just shouldn't happen."

The Medical Board says Dr. Hall has the right to request a hearing regarding the suspension of his license. He has 30 days to do so.

According to the board, Hall’s license was suspended before in 2006, when Hall was diagnosed with substance abuse and Bipolar Disorder.

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UPDATE 3/12/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- When Rosanna Wescott and her grandmother pulled into the parking lot of the Pinnacle Wellness and Longevity Center in Ironton Tuesday morning, she was shocked.

"I don't know what to think, whether to run or what to do," Wescott said.

Wescott came for a suboxone prescription. It's a drug she uses to help keep her off prescription painkillers. She says it's changed her life.

"I'm in my right state of mind. I'm not walking around doped up and not knowing what I'm doing," Wescott said.

But doctors at Pinnacle are accused of helping others get those same drugs that sent Wescott down a dangerous path. They're being investigated for alleged improper subscribing.

On Tuesday, agents from Ohio BCI, the state Pharmacy Board, the DEA and local law enforcement raided the office.

"Today's search warrant is so we can search records, patient records any documentation that can assist us with our investigation," Jesse Wimberly, with the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, said.

Wescott's grandmother is frustrated by how many pill mills there are in southern Ohio.

"Doctors will put out any kind of drugs for young people -- destroy our generations coming up today; we don't need them," Jewel Reed said. "We need to put a stop to them."

Wescott says if she can't get another prescription for suboxone, she's afraid of backsliding.

"Whatever dope dealer I can find's going to have a little bit of money later on when I run out of my two day supply that I have left," Wescott said.

ORIGINAL STORY 3/12/13 @ 9:30 A.M.
IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Local and state investigators have raided an Ironton business suspected of being a pill mill, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

AG Spokesperson Jill Del Greco says investigators executed the search warrant at Pinnacle Wellness and Longevity Center just after 8:30 Tuesday morning.

The business is located in a suite in an office building at 407 South 3rd Street.

Greco tells the business has been under investigation for more than a year. She says investigators are gathering evidence and no arrests are expected Tuesday.

We have crew at the scene.

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